View Full Version : China Airlines FOCA(episode 1)

14th May 2006, 13:06
A300-600, 200 feet before touch down, the 7 years experienced chinese F/O banked 45 degrees in order to correct for the drift, the speed dropped, the thrust increased, level off, the speed incerased, then the levers back to idle at 70 feet, a boom landing with a bounce.
The locals are always close to another crash.(thanks to Airbus protections and to the expats for saving lives).

14th May 2006, 13:16
The fast growing airline business in china will surely produce further episodes.

Essential Buzz
14th May 2006, 15:16
The fast growing airline business in china will surely produce further episodes.

No doubt ... but China Airlines is actually Taiwanese. (As against "Air China" - from PRC)

14th May 2006, 15:23
Yes, I know. Once I considered to fly for them....

Sorry about that.

14th May 2006, 15:34
Have to say that episode has some similarities with the much more tragic one from 1994 ---> http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19940426-0

Kaptin M
14th May 2006, 21:01
When their pilots have praise heaped upon them, in their inflight magazine, for making an approach during a R, it must give them the psyche to continue.


The Boeing 747 was approaching the Kennedy International Airport of New York after a long distance flying. No matter how hard the Airlines tries to provide quality services, passengers may feel tired after a long flight from China to New York. According to schedule, the plane would touch down soon, thus the passengers began to expect that moment with either ecstasy of returning home or excitement of arriving abroad

The pilot was checking the panel in the cockpit. Everything was OK. The volume of fuel in a plane was strictly based on flying distance and frequency of take-off and touchdown. This plane was no exception

At that time, the Kennedy Airport was a scene the pilot had never thought
of. An unusual thunderstorm was attacking it so fiercely that the people present couldn't open their eyes, not to mention seeing anyone just a few metres away. The Airport had to take emergency measure: close the Airport right away and allow no plane to land

The pilot received the control-tower's notification: "The airport's closed,your aircraft can't land, please touch down at other airport nearby instead."

The pilot squinted his eyes a little, Nope, he thought, my big bird could not fly to any other airport because it lacked fuel, my dear controller.

The controller, a retired US Force LT, however, informed the pilot constantly and conscientiously: "It's difficult to spot your plane, you can't touch down, we've closed the Airport. Reply, please."

"No, sir, I must land the plane here without any choice. Please cooperate," answered the pilot valiantly

"It's too perilous! You Chinese are crazy" hollered the retired LT. He's also nearly loco.

The ground crew had to get ready at once to welcome this big bird in tempest. Staff from the Airlines in the Airport watched and waited restlessly by the apron

It seemed to wait for long time. Everybody at the Airport heard the thunderstorm smiting on the ground and on the roof rather than the boom of the aircraft, not to mention the view of it. The staff squirmed. My gosh...
They didn't dare to think anymore

Compelled to give the Boeing 747 "Privilege" to land, the controller kept in touch with it and paid close attention to the moving-spot only on radar screen with sober expression and a tightened face. After a while, he wound down and then said to his colleagues indignantly: "I'd like to know what superman the pilot is." And he ran towards the apron at once

The Boeing 747 stood alone in downpour. An air hostess guided the passengers down the plane. On touching the ground, they passionately embraced and shook hands with their relatives and friends who came to pick them up and waited.
Everyone was dying to know which hero so wonderful.

The retired LT watched the pilot, had a sight of relief and laughed. He held the pilot EDs hand tightly, stared at his dark eyes and howled in amazement: "Ah, young man." Then he praised quietly and clearly: "You Chinese are great!"

The pilot smiled friendly and with confidence

He greeted the passengers who were lauding him and clapping him around.
The staff of the Airlines turned up eventually with their faces full of astonishment, euphoria and release.

People found the pilot surprisingly young with a vein of innocence on his face.

Excellent, thought the captain, this was a smooth flight from beginning to end and the memory of his thirtieth birthday as well.

( Note: This is a true story. The pilot is one of the captains of Air China. This time was not his first landing in such an inclement and also he's not the only captain to touch down in thunderstorm among the pilots of Air China.

In addition, up to now, the pilot's cradle, No 1 Flying General Squad has kept a record of 42 years' safety flight without any accident.)

Sourced from P!REP.org (

14th May 2006, 21:30
Kaptin M,

This is a joke, right? This is not the airline inflight magazine.


Load Toad
14th May 2006, 22:34
It must be out of a comic with 'China Airlines' inserted for fun. Musn't it........musn't it?

Essential Buzz
15th May 2006, 13:05
O oh ... have to do some Air China wet lease flying tomorrow - hope I'm equal to the task!

15th May 2006, 18:11
There must be something about the Chinese psyche regarding perceived heroism. Reminds me of the cr.p you used to read in the CAAC in-flight magazines 25 years ago, when the PRC was still firmly in the grip of the school of thought emanating from one of the 20th century's greatest slaughterers of his own people, Mao Tse Tung.

In 1979, the CAAC magazing published an article about flight attendants based in Kunming (Yunan Prov.), whose only flight routine was the "Hump", i.e. flying to Tibet and back. They seriously wrote about a female FA whose major contribution to an old lady's first flight experience was to be able to serve her tea whilst the FA herself was suffering from her usual motion sickness on this route........


Ignition Override
15th May 2006, 18:45
This thread began by mentioning the "A-300-600 protections". The writer of that article has little idea what he is talking about, or knows nothing about Airbus systems.

The A-300/310 series are NOT fly-by-wire aircraft.
The 319,320,321,330/340 and the new super jumbo are fly-by-wire.

Even with "protections", misunderstandings, training glitches and lack of CRM has led to numerous accidents.

16th May 2006, 02:56
>>This thread began by mentioning the "A-300-600 protections". The writer of that article has little idea what he is talking about, or knows nothing about Airbus systems.

Well, maybe he does. The A-300-600 does have alpha floor and alpha lock.

Alpha floor engaged in the NGO CI A-306 crash (and possibly in the TPE crash) but may have compounded the problem since the pilots were fighting the rapid power induced pitchup with down elevator trim at low altitude and airspeed. A-300 autopilots often stay engaged under conditions that would trip off George on the Boeing, i.e. pitch trim switch activation or using the yoke to overpower the autopilot inputs. In both NGO and TPE crashes the autopilot remained on while strong pilot inputs tried to oppose it. Throttles go to full TOGA and stay there on an A-300 go-around unlike many Boeings where they come back to give 2000 fpm climb. Actually, the A-300 is tame on a two engine go compared to the shorter and lighter A-310. Several accidents and many more incidents have involved the somatogravic illusion induced by rapid pitchup with TOGA power on the 'Bus.

After the TPE crash Dynasty instituted a policy where the A-300's were only flown by expat crews for several years.

16th May 2006, 08:30

'After the TPE crash Dynasty instituted a policy where the A-300's were only flown by expat crews for several years.'

What rubbish are you talking?

16th May 2006, 16:15
Mrs. or Mr. Ignition Override

You are very smart, you are right i know nothing about Airbus, i just have 4500 hours time on A319/320/321 and A340-300!!!
I don't care if you are trying to minimise my related facts, but let me tell you that millions of passengers should thank Mrs. Hight AOA prot and her sisters for saving their lives. So please don't say any stupidities about the wonderful Airbus.
By the way, Airbus doesn't need to invade to be sold....

16th May 2006, 18:14
China Airlines has had a terrible run of bad luck in recent years. As the Taipei Times put it:

"...The catastrophic loss of three widebodied jets in less than a decade (Nagoya 1994, Taoyuan 1998 and now Penghu), the writing off of another with some loss of life (Hong Kong 1999) and landing a plane in Hong Kong harbor in 1993 would almost be comic if it didn't involve the loss of over 800 lives. For some time to come there is going to be a perception that flying CAL is little different from playing Russian roulette..."


16th May 2006, 19:21
Waiting for episode #2.


Few Cloudy
17th May 2006, 18:45
Kaptin M's post reminds me af an interview I had with KAL. During the sim ride I went around a couple of times because I wasn't happy with the line up at minimum. Afterwards I was bollocked by the check pilot who told me "You have to land! You turn left and then right and you land. We can't afford useless go arounds..."

Well they never got any - from me.


Ignition Override
18th May 2006, 04:39
TU. VN. CI. EY. and Airbubba:
My sincerest apologies to you all. My stupid comment on the A-300 was out of sheer ignorance, somehow believing that the A-300 had no such protections, as the 757 (which I flew, similar 'generation') had none. My impression was that the first airliner with any such protections, was the A-320. Now the Dark Ages are beginning to recede.

It was also my mistaken impression, somehow, that the beginning of this thread was a paraphrased quote from another source, i.e. a newspaper reporter, having detected either humour or sarcasm (...expats...). Again, my apologies, especially if the comments caused anyone embarassment.
It is my goal to never again make comments on Pprune about any aircraft which I have never flown-I'm sure that all other Ppruners will avoid such comments. My comments, other than questions, will be strictly limited to an old "classic" twin-turbofan (10 years as FO and six as Captain) which has absolutely no protections :uhoh: (only altitude hold and two VORs with flight directors)-except for the two breathing, sweaty pilots from June until mid September, having no computers to "fly", so to speak.
No triple IRS/L.,C. and R. autopilots/LNAV/VNAV/autothrottles/progress page + destination fuel. Just ACARS, the two VORs and a mostly lousy (beschissen)ADF.

On our flights, especially the short legs with unusual mixes of vectors and ambiguous clearances (fly 080 hdg for xxx) and airspeed/altitude changes (why even clear us "as filed"? just tell us: "take off and climb to 5,000'), we must always work at it to avoid stalling/overspeeding, busting altitudes and airways ("it's not on the High Chart..."), or arriving with only reserve fuel. According to many younger pilots on Pprune, such "classic" aviation is clearly crude and inferior to the modern style.

If our Airbus Instructors want a serious challenge, and have a good sense of humour, they might find some methods to attempt to train 'yours truly' next fall or winter, even after a good bit of home study with CD-ROMs. Their 'work is cut out for them'. Good luck to those ladies and gentlemen!

sec 3
18th May 2006, 06:53
Hmmmmm? Just ACARS, 2 vor's and a lousy ADF. Strange combo:confused:

18th May 2006, 07:21
@Ignition Override

Excellent post


18th May 2006, 08:22
There was an A310 crash in Lagos, Nigeria some time ago that involved (to my best recollection) the FO flying, the use of the shorter and slipperier of the two runways in rain and deactivated thurst reversers.

The approach was flown well above Vref and the aircraft went off the departure end, ripping its nosegear off and ending up with the tail stuck way up in the air for everyone to wonder at until they could drag it away. It was a write-off after one of those classical 'chain of events' accidents.

Most interesting was what one could read about this in the local papers. It was all praise to the heroic crew who dared to land in impossible conditions and saved the lives of all aboard! No one bothered to think about that a bit and ask why they didn't apply proper procedures or even divert and wait for better weather. You could call this yet another example of a 'culture clash' between the way people in the First World are taught to operate and the way some people in the Third World think.

Not to be unfair, some accidents in the States, such as that crash in Little Rock, Arkansas, seem similar to this one cited. But at least you don't read in the papers about how brave the crew were to take chances.

I was fascinated to read, in an article about the then head of Daimler-Benz, about how this titan of the business world had bullied his crew into landing somewhere or other when the weather was really bad. The point of the article was that Mr Roughy-Toughy got to where he was going when all the other CEOs were stuck at some outstation, thanks to the sheer force of his personality. I suppose if they had crashed then it would have been an article about the tragic loss of a great leader due to the incompetence of his crew.

18th May 2006, 11:08
The point of the article was that Mr Roughy-Toughy got to where he was going when all the other CEOs were stuck at some outstation, thanks to the sheer force of his personality.

Being the only one at his destination, no other CEO to present his personality to, he had to depart to the next place immediately...below minima

18th May 2006, 13:09
No, it was a race or an exposition or something where all the top neddies were expected to be there at a certain time. Cue major loss of face if someone didn't show up. Pushing the crew into taking big chances paid off by this guy being there on time, as promised, and never mind what the weather was doing.

I remember once when we were waiting, waiting at Myrtle Beach, S.C. for the Charlotte weather to come up above minimums. It was just morning fog but the rules stated that we couldn't go until we had good weather at our destination. This suit came up, very huffy, to demand, no, make that DEMAND to know when we should be leaving. To my look of mild inquiry he told me that he was catching a flight to CHICAGO!

The name of this big city was meant to knock my hayseed butt into a corner in shock and awe, I suppose but all I told him was that, weatherwise, 'Man proposes and God disposes.' He gave me a very odd look and then left me alone, which was fine with me, actually. Soon enough the fog cleared and we were on our way.

As my old instructor used to say, 'Better to lose face than to lose *rse.'

sec 3
19th May 2006, 06:22
" Man proposes and God disposes" If you said that to me , I'd look at you oddly too:confused:

19th May 2006, 13:53
Ok the Fo screws up. you prasie the aircraft,

19th May 2006, 14:25
Whaledog: Ok the Fo screws up. you prasie the aircraft,

This is a very good question. At any rate, the alpha floor on the A300-600 is a stall protection feature, not an unusual attitude protection at low altitude. It would not have "saved the day" in this case, if the crew had persisted. So yes, where was the Captain? It's really fishy when both pilots are having a bad day at the same time...

Hold West
19th May 2006, 19:16
Break the chain......whilst not stated here (http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20011008-0), the in-depth report (http://www.ansv.it/En/Detail.asp?ID=177) clearly states that the business jet landed a short time previously at Milan Linate - WAY BELOW IFR MINIMA!! This was permitted by ATC.....

And what are the rules in Italy? In the US, it is not ATC that determines when an aircraft may commence approach, it is the pilot-in-command. ATC providees the weather info, and the pilot determines, under the myriad rules they may operate under, if he is legal to begin an approach. Again, I do not know the rules in Italy, but saying the accident is ATC's fault because they let the aircraft land is quite a stretch, I'd say. May as well say it's Milan's fault because they built an airport - or Cessna's fault becasue they built an airplane.

20th May 2006, 04:07
>>My stupid comment on the A-300 was out of sheer ignorance, somehow believing that the A-300 had no such protections, as the 757 (which I flew, similar 'generation') had none.

Actually, I think there is at least one "protection" on the '75, if the leading edge slats are at the takeoff position and a stall is detected, the LE slats automatically extend to the landing position. The usual caveat, this doesn't work with alternate flap extension.

>>By the way, Airbus doesn't need to invade to be sold....

Yep, and the 'Bus has been crash tested a lot more often as well...

Hand Solo
20th May 2006, 19:56
What, like the 737? They got that rudder fixed yet?